Tag Archives: yacht

New Exhibits & Last of the Rigging

During the week leading up to the RELIANCE volunteer appreciation day, the team built out some accompanying exhibits highlighting the metal hull large yachts built by HM Co. The exhibit area is taking shape, and over the next several years we’ll build content to make a comprehensive exhibit. No rest for the weary!

Meanwhile, the last major rigging was added to RELIANCE. We’re hoping to display two new elements. Steve Thurston delivered a stunning #1 Jib Topsail. It is HUGE– long and lean. But, it is too large to haul up. We need that extra 14′ of clearance that isn’t in the Hall of Boats. Sometimes we just wish we could take a can opener and cut a hole in the roof!

We did, however, add the “club topsail club”, even though the topsail can’t be raised either. It enabled us to try out the rigging to sheet the club home. Very complex! Below shows the wooden club which serves as an extension of the gaff.
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On the starboard side, the outer sheet leads through the reef block and then forward along the boom to tackle and a cleat.
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Also on the starboard side, the sheet leads from a becket block on the gaff tip to a block on the club and back. From there, it goes forward to a block hanging from a pennant which is attached to the starboard side of the gaff jaws. This sheet leads down to the boom capstan and cleat.
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This starboard side arrangement is shown on a picture of RELIANCE.
Reliance
On the port side, a sheet leads from a becket at gaff tip up to the club and back down again, where it leads to a pennant hanging from the portside of the gaff jaws. This pennant does not have a block, but rather a thimble through which the sheet travels. It leads to a block and tackle at the boom where it is tied off. The inner sheet is hitched to the inner end of the club and lead through a block on the gaff; a second thimble on this same pennant and then is tied off at the boom.
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SpringOpening Poster - Rel - FINAL

Opening Day, May 1st!

SpringOpening Poster - Rel - FINAL

Come down to visit Herreshoff Museum on Sunday, May 1st for our opening day! Our RELIANCE model will be ready and present for all eyes to see; witness the finished product of our crew’s limitless toil!

Finally: The Painting Has Begun!

Early last week, Keith, Herb, Steve, and Sandy erected a tent frame to put the RELIANCE model under. Buck from the world-renowned Itchiban Yacht Painters stopped by to form the actual tent.

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On Thursday, Buck returned and put the first five coats of primer on the boat. Buck says he’ll come back on Monday with another person to block down the shear and keel, though he thinks it is “good enough.” I sense he’s really bought into our boat and it is now his boat! On Monday, the plan is that he’ll “block” long board the hull with 150 grit and then put another 3 coats of primer on. We will then sand to 400 grit and he’ll return for finishing coats.

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Barbara’s Visit

We had a delightful visit recently from Barbara Bartram, widow of our benefactor Joe Bartram. We were thrilled to show her all the progress we’ve made firsthand; she’s already an avid reader of our blog, but seeing RELIANCE in person, in our opinion, was a much better experience.

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Several days later, the Museum held its Herreshoff classic yacht race series; the harbor was filled with beautiful boats. Many sailors got the chance to tour the museum and see our boat. Great fun for all!

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Thank you Hasbro!

Had a great session this week. Burr has been making four of the large capstans – three on deck and one for the boom. These are similar to the one on display in the museum store – which is of slightly later vintage, (photo 1).  The winch barrels are jewel-like (photo 2) and we can’t wait to see the completed winches.

Bill has been looking at the mast plans to see how the shroud eyes are kept in place. On wooden masts there would be cheeks – bulges in the mast on which the eye of the wire rope shroud (properly wormed, parceled and served) would rest. With a steel mast there’d be angle iron instead of cheeks. We’ve been wondering about the shape of these and along comes another RELIANCE serendipity moment as one of our guests, a retired Newport News employee, came to us wanting to understand how rivets in RAINBOW’S metal mast were bucked. We quickly showed him our RELIANCE mast construction and engaged him in a discussion of mast construction including our angle iron dilemma. He’s going to check RAINBOW drawings and Newport News archives… How cool is that!

Our 1903 pre-commissioning crew arrived today and were waiting on deck for their allotment of RELIANCE uniforms. The deck of RELIANCE will soon be a busy place! (Photo 3) 

I mentioned in an earlier blog that we’d received 35 G.I. Joes from Hasbro and I want to heartedly thank them for their donation. As you can see and imagine when they are in proper uniform that they’ll be an awesome addition to the display. THANK YOU!! (photo 4)

1. Display winch 2. 1.5 inch tall model winch barrels 3. 1903 crew 4. Thank you Hasbro

Building 28 – An Ever Changing Exhibit

As we progress on building our 1/6th scale model we’ve become aware that:

  1. The effort must be thought of as part of a larger exhibit to represent the grandeur of the large America’s Cup boats and racing schooners.
  2. Visitors have difficulty translating 1/6th scale into original size.

We are also building RELIANCE in the old Herreshoff Manufacturing shops, to original plans, and using HM Co practices where we can. It is as if the ghosts of old workers are looking over our shoulders! So, we think we have some insights into the question “Why did Henry Ford visit HM Co before building his own factory?”

So, as you enter Building 28, we are creating a small exhibit area over the course of the summer to explore with you these topical areas:

  1. Pictures and discussions of HM Co. built America’s Cup boats and large racing schooners
  2. Display of 4’ sections of real-size wooden RELIANCE spars; reliefs of boom, bowsprit and mast; and comparisons to the real RELIANCE
  3. Picture exhibit of the shops and workers
  4. Our thoughts on advanced HM Co business practices
  5. Nat Herreshoff’s experiments with fin-keel boats (There are two examples in Bldg 28 awaiting restoration)

We hope you’ll visit us as we create these exhibits and that you’ll add your insights and thoughts as well.